I certainly could tell you all about how I still—even eight years later—can’t watch you braid our daughter’s hair without feeling my heart thump in my chest. (I mean, it’s very cute. And you’re very good at it!)
I certainly could tell you about how much it has meant to me that you’ve stepped up and in as I’ve chased after my dream of publishing my first novel. You taking control of the house and kids so I could go out and write and edit and do all the things helped make this happen. My heart is so full because of our teamwork.
I certainly could tell you all about how my love for you has deepened each time you’ve intercepted a sick kiddo or have gotten up to change wet sheets in the middle of the night so that I could stay asleep.
Just the other night you had asked me if I heard our youngest come into our room crying about a nightmare, and I hadn’t. “I don’t remember that,” I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t hear her.”
“It’s okay, she curled right into me and fell right back to sleep,” you told me.
You are their safe place. You are their comfort.
I certainly could continue telling you all about these times when I know you have felt my love and appreciation. I mean who doesn’t want to hear those stories about themselves over and over?
But I’ll tell you about the tooth fairy instead.
You always make us feel special. In the way that you see us, love us and care for us.
Lately it feels like teeth are falling out left and right in our home. And one night, after someone lost a tooth, our two oldest kids decided to leave a note of questions they carefully crafted for the tooth fairy to answer. Then, you are the one who remembered to not only leave money under their pillow, but you also remembered to answer their questions.
The next morning, you may have already been on your trek into work, but you left your mark for the day on three wildly excited and delighted children.
“Mom! Did you know our tooth fairy’s name is Elvis?!”
“Mom! He is two inches tall!”
“It says his favorite color is rainbow!”
“And his favorite animal is a striper!” (I’m surprised this one didn’t give it away.)
I hadn’t known what you wrote for the answers the night before, and hearing them squeal as they read them out loud made my heart come close to bursting. I often feel like I’m the memory maker and documenter, but this time, it was all you. And it was really special.
You always make us feel special. In the way that you see us, love us and care for us. One of my favorite things about you might be your giant hugs and your stellar chef skills, but it’s also the fact that you have taken on the role as birthday party chaperone so this introvert doesn’t have to. That is true love, my dear.
But maybe, just maybe even more than that, you are adventurous. And I don’t just mean because you often take three kids to the grocery store alone. You encourage us to see the beauty in the world around us and we need that. Thank you for making life one big adventure.
I’m so grateful to know our kids always have someone in their corner—seeing them, cheering for them, and standing with them.
I fall in love with you time and time again as I watch you inspire, celebrate and support our children for exactly who they are. But in truth, I fall in love with you time and time again because over the past ten years of our marriage, we’ve grown and evolved and become a true team together. We are equal partners in this beautiful, challenging and joyful life, and creating a family together has caused my heart to overflow with love and appreciation.
I knew I was signing up for someone who could—and did—make me feel safe, beautiful, loved and accepted the night you asked me to marry you. But I didn’t and couldn’t have known I was getting someone who would also grow alongside me, challenge me to go after my dreams and figure out the many murky areas of life and parenting right in the trenches with me.
I’m so grateful we’re in this together. I’m so grateful to know our kids always have someone in their corner—seeing them, cheering for them and standing with them. I don’t know if you ever dreamed of being a father when you were little, but you were destined to be the father of our kids.
And we are so lucky for it.
Just please, for goodness sake, find somewhere reasonable to put your shoes, drop the keys in the designated key area and order the cabinet doors. Okay?